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Work Online button disappears. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Most of the time my Windows 7 Ultimate netbook works fine when I'm at home on a slow DSL connection and using the VPN to work.  But intermittently, from time to time, when I connect to the file server, my computer remains in "work offline" mode and I can only see the shares that are set to "remain available when offline".  Yet the VPN connection is working.  I'm sitting here browsing web pages and typing this message via VPN.  I have a terminal server session open that could never work unless VPN is working.

    How can I regain access to shares and files when my Windows 7 insists on working offline?  How can I get the button back for "Work Online"?  Is there a script that I can use to launch the same code the button would have launched?


    -WDS- Disk failures only happen to those who fail to backup.
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 4:23 AM

Answers

  • I found a solution for my circumstance of the disappearing "Work Online" button.  The solution is not ACLs.  I'm a network admin.   I have permission at the root level of all volumes and all shares.

    Here's my circumstance to recreate the problem.  I'm using a computer that is not a member of a domain, but rather a stand-alone workgroup computer.  I have more than one folder marked for syncronization on the domain file server.  I logged on to VPN using my domain user name alone, without specifying a domain.  My domain user name is different from my local workgroup user name.  I'm using a slow DSL connection via a local domain network.

    I believe the problem exists because of new changes on both Server 2008 and also on Vista and Windows 7.  On Server 2008, the DHCP relay no longer provides suffix information that the client side can use.  On Vista and Windows 7, it's no longer possible to manually set the suffix information.

    Here's how I found the solution.  After logging on to VPN, I attempted to use Windows Explorer to open a file server share that was not one of the shares on my syncronization list.  Suddenly, it began asking for my credentials again, even though it had already accepted them on VPN.  I noticed that it was offering my workgroup name as the domain for these credentials.  When I specified the domain name along with my domain user name, it opened the share for me, but remained in offline mode.  Then I noticed it once again offered the "work online" button.  I could then click the work online button and access the shares that were on my sycronization list.

    Here are two work arounds for this problem and a list of solutions which Microsoft should implement in future updates.

    Work around #1:  Include the domain name along with the user name when logging on to VPN.  VPN may work without it, but other parts of Windows 7 won't work.  It will take a few reboots for me to believe this is all that's needed for a solution.  I've also noticed in Windows 7, the syncronization component views "domainname" as being a different domain from "domainname.tld".  You may want to experiment with both.

    Work around #2:  Open Windows Explorer to a share that is not on the list of syncronized folders.  I tried simply typing \\servername, but that doesn't work because you're still offline.  You need to specify the servername and a share that is not one of the syncronized shares.  At this point, I was able to see the button "Work Online".

    Several Microsoft fixes need to be offered in future updates.

    The syncronization component of Windows 7 sees "domainname" as being a different domain than "domainname.tld".  This is a hint that the syncronization component is not working correctly.  Perhaps it's not working correctly because it's getting its information from another part of Windows 7 that is broken?  This could explain why the online/offline modes are broken.

    The VPN component of Windows 7 is incorrectly passing the credentials to other parts of Windows.  It doesn't make sense that VPN works correctly, and terminal server works correctly across VPN, but Windows Explorer and Syncronization do not work correctly across VPN. 

    Make the "Work Online" button available at all times.  It should never disappear. 

    Add a "Work Online" choice in one of the menus of Windows Explorer.

    The DHCP relay in Server 2008 needs repaired to correctly provide suffix information to the client.

    The networking component of Vista and Windows 7 needs repaired to allow us to manually set the suffix for each individual VPN connectoid. 

     


    I'm being moderated because the moderators in the Expression Web forum allow abusers to alienate customers with vile and abusive messages, and I complained. Funny thing; how it's possible for them to be alienated, but not a customer? They owe me an apology.

    • Marked as answer by Rain Dance Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:28 PM
    • Edited by Rain Dance Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:47 PM clarification
    Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:19 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for the post.

    You may refer to the article in the following link to check ACL.

    Offline File Synchronization – In Windows 7 the "Work Offline/Work Online" option button disappears from Windows Explorer after an offline / online transition and the Client Side Cache remains offline until the next restart of the computer

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2512089

    Also, the mode that the Work Offline/Work Online button would not be displayed would be when the scope is suspended (or server just not available).

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/netro/archive/2010/04/09/how-the-synchronization-in-windows-7-offline-files-works.aspx 

    Offline (always) The item has been “suspended” using the Offline Files API. To transition online, the item must be un-suspended using the API.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itpronetworking/thread/135a91d9-9f96-4f7c-8a6d-7427a1f89b10 

    Additionally, the similar thread below is for your reference.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistanetworking/thread/8650c2be-55d1-4fc6-8cd9-527d32a6c7bb/ 

    Regards,
    Juke
    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum
    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”

    • Edited by Juke Chou Wednesday, September 7, 2011 3:13 AM
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 2:01 AM
  • Is there any way to get the researchers at Microsoft to find an answer to this?  If the button simply quit disappearing, at least we could fix the issue temporarily.  But now that everything is automatic, we network admins are cut out of the picture.  I miss the days when admins were trusted.

     


    I'm being moderated because the moderators in the Expression Web forum allow abusers to alienate customers with vile and abusive messages, and I complained. Funny thing; how it's possible for them to be alienated, but not a customer?
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 7:32 PM
  • Hi,

    As I mentioned above, you need to check the ACL of the network folders.

    This behavior may be caused by the way Windows 7 handle remote file operations. The UNC path is parsed and every part is checked for availability. In the case described in the sections above, Windows 7 checks for the prefix \\ServerName. If this is successful it checks if the \ShareName$\ is available. Due to missing access rights on this level, the remote file operation fails and the Client Side Cache (CSC) provides files from the offline content if the UNC path was made available offline.

    Regards,
    Juke
    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum
    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 2:11 AM
  • I have three questions.  What is the method for setting ACLs on \\servername?

    My VPN account is a member of the IT group.  I have permissions on all volumes and shares.

    In this case I'm using a Win7 Enterprise PC which is not a member of the domain.  The [Work Online] button is intermittent.  Sometimes it's available and sometimes it isn't.  So I'm not feeling confident that ACLs are the issue.

    Moreover, I suspect that if code is available that can be executed by the [Work Online] button, there must be another way to launch that same code.  Can someone investigate how to launch that code?

    I also believe that if code is able to make visible the [Work Online] button, there must be another way to make visible that button.  Can someone investigate how to force visibility of the [Work Online] button?

     


    I'm being moderated because the moderators in the Expression Web forum allow abusers to alienate customers with vile and abusive messages, and I complained. Funny thing; how it's possible for them to be alienated, but not a customer?
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 7:32 AM
  • Hi,

    The only mode which can cause the work online button to disappear in Explorer toolbar is the files cannot be accessed on the shared folders. Usually, the cause is you do not have permission to access these folder or the folder is not indeed available.

    Now, I suggest you to disable slow link mode to check whether you can access these folders online.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”

    • Edited by Juke Chou Thursday, September 8, 2011 7:48 AM
    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Thursday, September 15, 2011 8:53 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Rain Dance Saturday, September 17, 2011 9:38 PM
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 7:43 AM
  • Hi,

    Any update?

     


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 9:47 AM
  • Hi,

    As this thread has been quiet for a while, we assume that the issue has been resolved. At this time, we will mark it as ‘Answered’ as the previous steps should be helpful for many similar scenarios. If the issue still persists, please feel free to  reply this post directly so we will be notified to follow it up. You can also choose to unmark the answer as you wish.

    BTW,  we’d love to hear your feedback about the solution. By sharing your experience you can help other community members facing similar problems. Thanks for your understanding and efforts.

    Regards,
    Juke
    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum
    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 8:52 AM
  • Now, I suggest you to disable slow link mode to check whether you can access these folders online.


    I found a solution for my circumstance.  I'll write up how I found the answer and what it is.

    It's unfair that you guys keep marking your own replies as The Answer.  Your reply wasn't the answer.  Many people are looking for a solution for their particular circumstance on this problem of how to make the "Work Online" button appear.


    I'm being moderated because the moderators in the Expression Web forum allow abusers to alienate customers with vile and abusive messages, and I complained. Funny thing; how it's possible for them to be alienated, but not a customer? They owe me an apology.
    Saturday, September 17, 2011 9:43 PM
  • I found a solution for my circumstance of the disappearing "Work Online" button.  The solution is not ACLs.  I'm a network admin.   I have permission at the root level of all volumes and all shares.

    Here's my circumstance to recreate the problem.  I'm using a computer that is not a member of a domain, but rather a stand-alone workgroup computer.  I have more than one folder marked for syncronization on the domain file server.  I logged on to VPN using my domain user name alone, without specifying a domain.  My domain user name is different from my local workgroup user name.  I'm using a slow DSL connection via a local domain network.

    I believe the problem exists because of new changes on both Server 2008 and also on Vista and Windows 7.  On Server 2008, the DHCP relay no longer provides suffix information that the client side can use.  On Vista and Windows 7, it's no longer possible to manually set the suffix information.

    Here's how I found the solution.  After logging on to VPN, I attempted to use Windows Explorer to open a file server share that was not one of the shares on my syncronization list.  Suddenly, it began asking for my credentials again, even though it had already accepted them on VPN.  I noticed that it was offering my workgroup name as the domain for these credentials.  When I specified the domain name along with my domain user name, it opened the share for me, but remained in offline mode.  Then I noticed it once again offered the "work online" button.  I could then click the work online button and access the shares that were on my sycronization list.

    Here are two work arounds for this problem and a list of solutions which Microsoft should implement in future updates.

    Work around #1:  Include the domain name along with the user name when logging on to VPN.  VPN may work without it, but other parts of Windows 7 won't work.  It will take a few reboots for me to believe this is all that's needed for a solution.  I've also noticed in Windows 7, the syncronization component views "domainname" as being a different domain from "domainname.tld".  You may want to experiment with both.

    Work around #2:  Open Windows Explorer to a share that is not on the list of syncronized folders.  I tried simply typing \\servername, but that doesn't work because you're still offline.  You need to specify the servername and a share that is not one of the syncronized shares.  At this point, I was able to see the button "Work Online".

    Several Microsoft fixes need to be offered in future updates.

    The syncronization component of Windows 7 sees "domainname" as being a different domain than "domainname.tld".  This is a hint that the syncronization component is not working correctly.  Perhaps it's not working correctly because it's getting its information from another part of Windows 7 that is broken?  This could explain why the online/offline modes are broken.

    The VPN component of Windows 7 is incorrectly passing the credentials to other parts of Windows.  It doesn't make sense that VPN works correctly, and terminal server works correctly across VPN, but Windows Explorer and Syncronization do not work correctly across VPN. 

    Make the "Work Online" button available at all times.  It should never disappear. 

    Add a "Work Online" choice in one of the menus of Windows Explorer.

    The DHCP relay in Server 2008 needs repaired to correctly provide suffix information to the client.

    The networking component of Vista and Windows 7 needs repaired to allow us to manually set the suffix for each individual VPN connectoid. 

     


    I'm being moderated because the moderators in the Expression Web forum allow abusers to alienate customers with vile and abusive messages, and I complained. Funny thing; how it's possible for them to be alienated, but not a customer? They owe me an apology.

    • Marked as answer by Rain Dance Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:28 PM
    • Edited by Rain Dance Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:47 PM clarification
    Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:19 PM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for your update.

    First, to mark the reply as "Answered" is based on our policy. As this thread has been quiet for a while, we assume that the issue has been resolved. Sorry for that.

    Second, as I said in my reply, The only mode which can cause the work online button to be disappeared in Explorer toolbar is the files cannot be accessed on the shared folders. So I suggest you to ensure whether you can access the other shared folders, this is a permission issue.

    Finally, thanks for sharing the solution.

    Regards,
    Juke
    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum
    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

     


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    • Edited by Juke Chou Monday, September 19, 2011 2:12 AM
    Monday, September 19, 2011 1:51 AM
  • Backup admin.....

     

    I spoke too soon. after 4 hours of idle, it has happened again. My symptoms are,

    • im workign from home via VPN
    • have been browsign netwrok folders and may have one or two different directories open
    • go back to look at one of them after variable amount of time
    • subfolders and files have dissapeared and it shows only one directory that I think is a synced folder called 'staff folders' which isnt even a subdirectory of the directory I am in! meaing whatever directory i am in, all i will see is a blank share with 'staff folders' beign the only folder.
    • I then click on 'work online' and I get an error message as per the below screenshot.
    • i dont want to be fixing 'ACL's' in group policy - I just want a simple fix for this and to be able to work from home............!
    • OH and I am a network admin


    Thursday, November 24, 2011 9:11 PM